Hey there Samsung Android enthusiasts, today we are bringing to you a review of our new favorite app–NewsAce Multimedia News Reader.
As the tablet and smartphone platforms have both developed over the last few years, it has become apparent that these new mediums are excellent tools to deliver content to users. With their beautiful displays, intuitive controls and mobile hardware, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen the tablet and smartphone markets explode since their respective inceptions.
In order to become proper, content consuming machines, we as users must find the perfect application for aggregating, organizing and displaying our favorite content. NewsAce allows us to do this with its intuitive, gesture-based navigation, and Google Reader powered feeds. When you fire up the app for the first time, it will ask you to sign into your Google account (Note: it automatically recognizes the system default accounts). You also have the option of adding a different Google Reader account.
Before we can begin browsing our newsstand, we have to populate it from our Google Reader selection, which can be done by opening the top bar menu and dragging selections into the stand. Your Google Reader feeds and folders will be displayed at the top in alphabetical order–you can use this view to navigate and view folders in the multiple article view mode, or drag down individual feeds into the newsstand. Careful about accidentally removing a feed from Google Reader altogether by dragging it into the pop-out trashcan:
The UI skin is based on the classic newsstand look, with wood-grain shelving and wire racks for the “View it Later” section. Each newspaper in the newsstand represents a feed and has its own thumbnail and logo, with video thumbnails playing from within the main browsing interface. This same, embedded video autoplay feature is also seen in the multiple article view seen below:
Multiple Article View
This view can be reached by selecting any of the feeds in the main view. From here you can view all of the articles within a selected feed, with a tiled format that on tablet, has been randomized to display 5 or 6 articles, and 2 or 3 on the phone. Don’t worry about multiple videos autoplaying at once and clashing–only the first one will play and it can easily be stopped. Occasionally one of the tiles in this mode will be displayed as an advertisement which is how I assume this app is monetized since it is free.
Besides being exceptionally functional, I loved how the main view’s retro look is juxtaposed against the multiple/single article view’s modern, white and blue color scheme and layout. For the single article view, you also have the option of viewing each article in a simple text view, or the standard web version (which includes headers, comments, styling, etc.). In the top right corner you will notice 4 buttons:
- The star allows you to add the article to your “View it Later” selections
- The arrow in the box stars the article in Google Reader
- The connected dots allow you to share via email, bluetooth etc., and various installed apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox
- The globe allows you to quickly switch between the aforementioned web view and simple view
Aside from being a great platform for viewing content, NewsAce’s selection of 60 high quality content channels is a great way to discover new content. This is great if you don’t have a Google Reader account or are just interested in finding interesting new video feeds. This is easily accessed as it is the default view once the application fires up.
In addition to syncing your Google Reader feeds and browsing the recommended channels, NewsAce lets you follow Twitter feeds, YouTube channels and even podcasts. To add these different sources, simply swipe over to the user selections section and hit the magnifying glass. Afterward, type in your search query, i.e. “Lady GaGa Twitter,” and select from the results!
In addition to these solid aforementioned features, you can adjust the duration of feed expiration, font size and whether or not images are displayed via the settings menu.
Overall, NewsAce is a very well thought-out feed reader application, that has the unique ability to play videos directly from its article viewing mode. The ability to change between simple and web view also gives readers the option of focusing on performance or quality, which is a handy feature in a competitive market where too much UI overlay can slow down your tablet or phone. Finally, the app’s seamless integration with Google Reader and the ability to quickly and easily share your content with friends makes this an excellent choice for all types of users.
Pickup your very own copy of NewsAce for free on the Android Market.